Can­cer team to con­tinue cru­sade

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - South Perth - Tom Rabe

THE Cru­sade for Can­cer team, which in­cludes South Perth res­i­dent Shen­ton McPher­son, has been given the op­por­tu­nity to fin­ish what it started af­ter their boat sank at the 4km mark of last week's Rot­tnest Chan­nel Swim.

The team was plucked from the wa­ter by Fre­man­tle Sea Res­cue (FSR), af­ter it had to aban­don the sink­ing boat.

FSR group pres­i­dent Phil Martin said vol­un­teers from the or­gan­i­sa­tion de­cided they would take the un­usual step of al­low­ing the team to at­tempt the swim again, pro­vid­ing sup­port on the way to the is­land.

Cru­sade for Can­cer founder Nathan Col­gan said the team, which raised $13,000 for the char­ity, was elated with the of­fer from FSR and planned to set off from Cottes­loe at 5.30am on Satur­day, March 7.

Mr Col­gan, the team's kayaker on the day, said the boat was un­der wa­ter in a few min­utes.

“It was a se­ries of events in a bad cir­cum­stance that hap­pened very quickly,” he said.

“Some ad­di­tional wa­ter came on the back when we had stopped and we had a shift of peo­ple down in one cor­ner.

“We weren’t able to power up to clear the wa­ter.”

Mr Col­gan, whose son Conor re­cently over­came a brain tu­mour, said the group’s dis­ap­point­ment was short lived.

“The next af­ter­noon Fre­man­tle Sea Res­cue con­tacted us and said they can use it as a train­ing ex­er­cise be­cause they're back and forth be­tween Rot­tnest ev­ery week and wanted to do their bit for the four guys who had put all the time and en­ergy into the course.”

Mr Martin said FSR vol­un­teers had de­cided to help the swim team af­ter they found out why the team was swim­ming.

“We were the first on scene, our jet ski op­er­a­tors fixed on the toe line to the boat and we got them to safety, we didn't think too much of it or who they were at the time be­cause we were so fo­cused on the event,” he said.

“Only on Sun­day evening, I was talk­ing to our event co-or­di­na­tor and he said they weren't just do­ing it for fun, they were do­ing it Cru­sade for Can­cer and we thought that was a re­ally good thing.

“We've got the ca­pac­ity to do it and this is a uniquely good cause and you some­times make an ex­cep­tion to help peo­ple out.”

The Cru­sade for Can­cer is a char­ity rais­ing funds and aware­ness for child­hood brain can­cer with ini­tia­tives in­clud­ing Pirate Day Fri­day White Eye Patch Day, run through pri­mary schools. Visit Pi­rate­DayFri­day.com for more.

The Cru­sade for Can­cer team’s stricken ves­sel.

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